A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Psalm 55 — Exposition by Charles H. Spurgeon

The Psalms can be a comfort during times of loss, grief, and hurting. Psalm 55 is one such psalm. Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s exposition of this psalm is brimming with wisdom and insight.

Here is the first verse of Psalm 55 and Spurgeon’s exposition of that verse. The remainder of the Psalm is copied afterwards and the exposition for each verse can be found at The Spurgeon Archive. We encourage you to read Spurgeon’s exposition in its entirety — we think it will give you much comfort if you have been abused.

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 Give ear to my prayer, O God,
 and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!

The fact is so commonly before us, otherwise we should be surprised to observe how universally and constantly the saints resort to prayer in seasons of distress. From the Great Elder Brother down to the very least of the divine family, all of them delight in prayer. They run as naturally to the mercy seat in time of trouble as the little chickens to the hen in the hour of danger. But note well that it is never the bare act of prayer which satisfies the godly, they crave an audience with heaven, and an answer from the throne, and nothing less will content them. Hide not thyself from my supplication. Do not stop thine ear, or restrain thy hand. When a man saw his neighbour in distress, and deliberately passed him by, he was said to hide himself from him; and the psalmist begs that the Lord would not so treat him. In that dread hour when Jesus bore our sins upon the tree, his Father did hide himself, and this was the most dreadful part of all the Son of David’s agony. Well may each of us deprecate such a calamity as that God should refuse to hear our cries.

2 Attend to me, and answer me;
    I am restless in my complaint and I moan,
3 because of the noise of the enemy,
    because of the oppression of the wicked.
For they drop trouble upon me,
    and in anger they bear a grudge against me.

4 My heart is in anguish within me;
    the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
5 Fear and trembling come upon me,
    and horror overwhelms me.
6 And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
    I would fly away and be at rest;
7 yes, I would wander far away;
    I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
8 I would hurry to find a shelter
    from the raging wind and tempest.”

9 Destroy, O Lord, divide their tongues;
    for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they go around it
    on its walls,
and iniquity and trouble are within it;
11     ruin is in its midst;
oppression and fraud
    do not depart from its marketplace.

12 For it is not an enemy who taunts me—
    then I could bear it;
it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—
    then I could hide from him.
13 But it is you, a man, my equal,
    my companion, my familiar friend.
14 We used to take sweet counsel together;
    within God’s house we walked in the throng.
15 Let death steal over them;
    let them go down to Sheol alive;
    for evil is in their dwelling place and in their heart.

16 But I call to God,
    and the Lord will save me.
17 Evening and morning and at noon
    I utter my complaint and moan,
    and he hears my voice.
18 He redeems my soul in safety
    from the battle that I wage,
    for many are arrayed against me.
19 God will give ear and humble them,
    he who is enthroned from of old, Selah
because they do not change
    and do not fear God.

20 My companion stretched out his hand against his friends;
    he violated his covenant.
21 His speech was smooth as butter,
    yet war was in his heart;
his words were softer than oil,
    yet they were drawn swords.

22 Cast your burden on the Lord,
    and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
    the righteous to be moved.

23 But you, O God, will cast them down
    into the pit of destruction;
men of blood and treachery
    shall not live out half their days.
But I will trust in you.

Psalm 55, ESV, A Davidic psalm

 

7 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Day after day, night after night, I would run to the Psalms to lament and find comfort. It struck me at one point, since David found it necessary to journal the Psalms, and find relief, perhaps it would work for me, too. So I started to journal my own Psalms. And it did bring me relief in the moment. My abuser found my journals and he made me burn them. So I got a little wiser… I still wrote ‘my Psalms’, then would immediately sneak off to the post office and mail them back home to a friend for safekeeping. It was then I knew I was doing it for more than relief and comfort; I felt an urgent need to leave behind evidence in the event of my demise.

    Mr. Spurgeon is one of the greats! I run to his material quite often.

    • Click here to read Jonathan Edwards’ sermon Sinners in The Hands of An Angry God.

      • Anonymous

        I goofed… That sermon preached is by Jonathan Edwards. I’m looking for the one preached by Spurgeon…

      • I’ve removed that error in your earlier comment Anonymous and fixed my own error as well. “Sinners in the hand of an angry God” left me speechless too, and you’re right — it was by Jonathan Edwards, not Spurgeon. 🙂 Both our memories were at fault! 🙂

  2. Anonymous

    False Professors Solemnly Warned is the Spurgeon sermon I intended to mention.

  3. Charis

    “Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Now, O Lord, please remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: “Turn back, and say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears.” 2 Kings 20:2-5

    I appreciate the honesty found in the relationships within the OT. A few months ago, my young son and I were reading the story of Hezekiah found in 2 Kings 20 and we paused after reading this section because I was powerfully struck by the phrases in verse 5 “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears.” El Roi – the God who sees is the God who cares; the God who is powerfully moved by compassion. He notices…and takes action.

    In Hezekiah’s case, God answered a deathbed prayer and granted healing – adding 15 more years of life. In my own life, El Roi is Jehovah Jireh – the God who sees and Provides. He cares for me so well.

  4. jesusfollowingishard

    And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
        I would fly away and be at rest;
    7 yes, I would wander far away;
        I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
    8 I would hurry to find a shelter
        from the raging wind and tempest.”

    I prayed these verses when desperate to find a safe place. Separation divorce is that safe place God has provided for me and my children.

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